Los Patos Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
This chart shows the variation of swells directed at Los Patos through a typical May. It is based on 2200 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast wind and surf right at the coastline so we have chosen the most applicable grid node based on what we know about Los Patos, and at Los Patos the best grid node is 35 km away (22 miles).
The rose diagram describes the distribution of swell sizes and swell direction, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These were forecast only 6% of the time. Green and yellow illustrate increasing swell sizes and red represents biggest swells greater than >3m (>10ft). In each graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how often that size swell occurs.
The diagram indicates that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was ESE, whereas the the prevailing wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Los Patos and away from the coast. We lump these in with the no surf category of the bar chart. To simplify things we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Los Patos, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were forecast to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average May, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Los Patos run for about 94% of the time.
IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.